Wearable tech market set to grow 137% by 2024 but smartwatches to see a 10% decline in revenue this year due to shipment delays and tighter consumer wallets, says GlobalData

Wearables have seen significant growth in the medical market over the past several years due to their potential to address spiraling healthcare costs, aging populations, and the burden of chronic disease. According to GlobalData, the wearable tech market was worth nearly $27bn in 2019 and is likely to grow to $64bn by 2024 due to its increased awareness during the pandemic, including tracking disease contact, predict symptoms and monitoring patients. Although its major segment, the smartwatch market, has declined since the COVID-19 outbreak, the market is expected to start recovering from 2021 onwards.

Tina Deng, MSc, Senior Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData comments: “The pandemic greatly increased the awareness of wearable devices as their use cases increased. This has resulted in an increase in device innovation as more companies race to develop new ways to cash in and help limit the spread of the virus.

“However, COVID-19 will hit smartwatch shipments and revenues in 2020. According to GlobalData estimates, the number of smartwatch shipments in 2020 will be 9% lower than in 2019, due to delays in production caused by COVID-19. Furthermore, smartwatch revenues will decline by 10% in 2020, as the global recession resulting from the pandemic hits consumer spending. Compared with wearables with specific medical purposes, smartwatches for general population are more vulnerable to the pandemic-related economic recession. Most consumers do not currently see significant value in smartwatches, primarily because most of the functionality available on smartwatches can already be found on smartphones. However, the current low penetration rate shows that there is plenty of scope for growth in the coming years.

Recent advances are providing value for healthcare with a focus on diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and prevention. These advantages are felt through the entire healthcare value chain with benefits including personalization, early diagnosis, remote patient monitoring, adherence to medication, information libraries, and better decision-making, while reducing healthcare costs.

Deng adds: “Growing demand and functionality has gathered the attention of insurers and companies in the supply of wearable health technology to consumers and employees for their wide-ranging benefits. As a result, the wearable technology market will grow robustly in the foreseeable future.”

If you want to find out more, send your questions to Rebecca Panks, PR Executive at GlobalData (pr@globaldata.com)

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